MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,421 this week

An American Crime (2007)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  7 December 2007 (Sweden)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 22,880 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 52 critic

The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 04 Dec 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 14 Jun 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 22 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: An American Crime (2007)

An American Crime (2007) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of An American Crime.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.

Director: Gregory Wilson
Stars: William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An adventurous coming-of-age story that follows young rebellious Sherry through Europe as she loses her illusions, virginity and lip ring.

Director: Alison Murray
Stars: Ellen Page, Natasha Wightman, August Diehl
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz is naked under a shower curtain at the back of a bus, looking for her little brother Sonny, who thinks he's a dog.

Director: Bruce McDonald
Stars: Ellen Page, Zie Souwand, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Hard Candy (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A teenage girl raids a man's home, suspecting he is a pedophile, in order to expose him.

Director: David Slade
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Manitoba, Hagar Shipley is nearing 90. She has little, she tells us, but her memories. Over several weeks, during which she runs away from her son and daughter-in-law who want to place ... See full summary »

Director: Kari Skogland
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Christine Horne, Ellen Page
Marion Bridge (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three estranged sisters reunite to care for their dying mother and old conflicts and secrets return to the surface.

Director: Wiebke von Carolsfeld
Stars: Molly Parker, Rebecca Jenkins, Stacy Smith
Player 5150 (2008)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A day trader (Embry) and his fiancée (Robertson) get caught up in high stakes gambling.

Director: David Michael O'Neill
Stars: Ethan Embry, Kathleen Robertson, Christopher McDonald
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A day-in-the-life dark comedy concerning a group of islanders, their respective secrets, and one man's plan to kill himself quietly.

Director: Daniel MacIvor
Stars: James Allodi, Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross
Peacock (2010)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A train accident in rural Nebraska gradually unveils a mystery involving the town's bank clerk.

Director: Michael Lander
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon
Love That Boy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young women who sets out to find a boyfriend get's more than she bargained for when she falls for a much younger boy.

Director: Andrea Dorfman
Stars: Nadia Litz, Nikki Barnett, Adrien Dixon
Touch & Go (2003)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Scott Simpson
Stars: Jeffrey Douglas, Patricia Zentilli, Stephen Sharkey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Paula Baniszewski
...
...
...
Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)
...
...
Reverend Bill Collier
...
Marie Baniszewski
...
Hope Orbach
Patricia Place ...
Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet ...
Mr. Doyle
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a shocking crime and a secret that wouldn't keep. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and disturbing depiction of child abuse and torture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Basement  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellen Page was the only choice to play Sylvia Likens. See more »

Goofs

During the big "rescue" scene Ricky and Sylvia flee from Gertie in a 67-68 model Ford Mustang, a blatant error considering the movie is set in 1965. See more »

Quotes

Gertrude Baniszewski: There are things in life we have to do, whether we like it or not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credit states "Sylvia Likens, 1949-1965". See more »

Connections

Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

96 Tears
Written by Rudy Martinez
Performed by ? and The Mysterians
Courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wallowing Down With the Sickness
11 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a tragedy that I will never have an opportunity to see this film in a theatre. The cast alone that includes the currently very popular Ellen Page should have merited something better than Saturday night Showtime.

Because of this, the impact will be blunted, however even in its limited presentation, the film was stunning and will easily end up among my favorites for the year. The quiet contemplation of the mood and the selection of a hideous story from post-Beaver Cleaver trivial innocence, pre-late 1960s tumult creates a moment so far outside our expectations of this nonsense daily on 24/7 news channels that its impact nails you full frontal.

I particularly like some of the discussions of this film that complain that it was not graphic enough and because of this, didn't hit people 'in the gut.' This alone warrants a short meditation.

To paraphrase one of the best commentaries I've read on this thing, there is an inner sadist in all of us. America's history of violence and tolerance of violence just gives license to bring it out more often and intensely. And despite our strong sense of individuality and our braggadocio about freedom, we have this very strange conformist streak. The confluence of these two conflicted tendencies can lead to bad places.

This film meditates subtly and, yes, beautifully on all of this. By eschewing potential excesses that some complaining viewers apparently desired, the story puts us in a disturbing place where we might not suspend disbelief and acknowledge the raw emotions as something potentially alive within.

I believe it is this troubling recognition of possibility that branded this film in various ways keeping it from ever being seen in a theatre. By exposing it first on pay TV, the unwashed masses might easily mistake it for a poorly done version of sensational MSNBC serial killer crap. Stuff like this is pleasurable to many because it lets them wallow 'down with the sickness' while pretending they are above it.

There is a wonderful moment in the story when the almost involuntarily sadistic mother utters 'there are things in life we have to do whether we like them or not.' I can't help but think this was borrowed from the sadistic father figure in the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' a film that many wanted this to be so as to give them some form of absolution from their own demons 'An American Crime' exposes.


71 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The most evil of them all Fleurus
Compared to The Girl Nextdoor chelsi-boswell
Deletions ManofArete
I'm no expert on the case but I know this isn't how it went down iseemoviepeople
curious panthersrulenfl69
Inaccurate, Boring, Too Condensed, Too Watered Down. powermandan
Discuss An American Crime (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?